Category Archives: Folk

VASHTI BUNYAN-HEARTLEAP.

VASHTI BUNYAN-HEARTLEAP. For thirty-two years, Vashti Bunyan was one of music’s best kept secrets. Vashti’s music was almost unknown outside of a small, loyal coterie of music lovers. This included a new generation of folk singers, including Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom. Their careers were influenced by Vashti Bunyan, and especially, her 1970 debut album …

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INCREDIBLE STRING BAND- I LOOKED UP AND U.

INCREDIBLE STRING BAND- I LOOKED UP AND U. For nine years and twelve albums, the Incredible String Band were pioneers within the somewhat staid folk scene. The Incredible String Band’s music was very different to what had gone before. It’s best described as a progressive and psychedelic style of folk music. This is apparent on …

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LED ZEPPELIN-LED ZEPPELIN IV.

LED ZEPPELIN-LED ZEPPELIN IV. When Led Zeppelin III was released in October 1970 music critics gave the album mediocre reviews. This had been the case throughout their career. Critics didn’t seem willing to Led Zeppelin a fair hearing. For Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, this was hugely frustrating. Things got …

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BOB CARPENTER-SILENT PASSAGE.

BOB CARPENTER-SILENT PASSAGE. Often, it looks as if a singer is destined for greatness. That was the case with Canadian singer-songwriter Bob Carpenter. He was signed to Warner Brothers in 1974. Straight away, Bob headed into the studio to complete his solo album, Silent Passage, which was rereleased by No Quarter Records on 19th August …

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LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III-HAVEN’T GOT THE BLUES (YET).

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III-HAVEN’T GOT THE BLUES (YET). Did you ever hear the story about the singer songwriter you sold his guitar to pay for yoga lessons, but still won a Grammy Award? That’s what Loudon Wainwright III did when was growing up. Loudon was born on September 5th 1946, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His …

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JOHN HIATT-TERMS OF MY SURRENDER.

JOHN HIATT-TERMS OF MY SURRENDER. Recently, some of music’s elder statesmen have made a welcome return. During the last couple of weeks, Eric Clapton, Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. That’s not all. Another musical veteran on the comeback trail is John Hiatt.  John’s new album Terms Of My Surrender, …

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CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG-C.S.N.Y. 1974.

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG-C.S.N.Y. 1974. Forty years ago, in 1974, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young put their differences aside, and embarked upon what was the first ever outdoor stadium tour. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young had been on hold for nearly three years. It had been four years since Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young …

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1970S ALGERIAN FOLK AND POP.

1970S ALGERIAN FOLK AND POP. During the late-sixties and seventies, life in Algeria wasn’t easy. It hadn’t been since 1963, when Ahmed Ben Bella came to power following the Sand War. Two years later, he was overthrown by President Houari Boumediene.  He continued the program of industrialisation. Since 1963, industries were state-controlled, within the authoritarian, socialist …

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JACKSON BROWNE-LATE FOR THE SKY.

JACKSON BROWNE-LATE FOR THE SKY. Before Jackson Browne embarked upon a solo career he packed a lot into a short space of time. His career began in 1966. That’s when he moved to Greenwich Village and joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Jackson wasn’t even eighteen. Soon, he was writing songs for the Nitty Gritty …

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ROBBIE BASHO-ZARTHUS.

ROBBIE BASHO-ZARTHUS. The last time I wrote about Robbie Basho, I described him as a trendsetter and innovator. That was the case throughout his career. However, some of the most innovative and groundbreaking music Robbie Basho released was at Vanguard Records. Robbie’s Vanguard Records debut was The Voice Of The Eagle, which was released to …

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MICHAEL CHAPMAN-PLAYING GUITAR THE EASY WAY.

MICHAEL CHAPMAN-PLAYING GUITAR THE EASY WAY. Nine years after releasing his debut album Rainmaker, on Harvest Records, Michael Chapman released Playing Guitar The Easy Way which has just been released on CD for the first time by Light In The Attic Records. This is no ordinary reissue. Far from it. It’s a no expense spared …

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SHARON VAN ETTEN-ARE WE THERE.

SHARON VAN ETTEN-ARE WE THERE. Are We There is singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten’s fourth album. Released on May 27th 2009, on Jaguarwar, Are We There was released to widespread critical acclaim. Critics hailed Are We There, the finest album of Sharon’s four album career. It surpassed everything that had come before. Sharon’s recording career began …

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R.M. HUBBERT-BREAKS AND BONE.

R.M. HUBBERT-BREAKS AND BONE. For R.M. Hubbert, 2013 was the best year of his long musical career. A veteran, and some might say, unsung hero, of Glasgow’s music scene, Hubby won the Scottish Album Of The Year Award in June 2013, with his sophomore album, Thirteen Lost and Found. Considering the competition Hubby was up …

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RICK REDBEARD-NO SELFISH HEART.

RICK REDBEARD-NO SELFISH HEART. All too often, when I pore through each week’s new releases, I wonder where music is heading? It seems that nostalgia is now officially the future. A deluge of third-rate reissues seems to be all some record companies are releasing. Then there’s compilations. Like greetings cards, there are compilations for every …

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LINDA PERHACS-PARALLELOGRAMS.

LINDA PERHACS-PARALLELOGRAMS. In the music industry, sadly, talent alone doesn’t guarantee commercial success and critical acclaim. If only that was the case, then things would be very different. There would be no such thing as DJs, remixers and grid-iron producers. These three products of the modern music industry examples of where music has gone wrong. …

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BEVERLEY MARTYN-THE PHOENIX AND THE FUTURE.

BEVERLEY MARTYN-THE PHOENIX AND THE FUTURE. It’s nearly fifty years ago since Beverley Martyn made her recording debut. This was as a member of The Levee Breakers. They were a jug band which featured Mac McGann, Johnny Joyce and Beverley. Their debut single was Babe, I’m Leaving You, which they released on Parlophone in 1965. …

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EMMYLOU HARRIS-WRECKING BALL.

EMMYLOU HARRIS-WRECKING BALL. In 1995, Emmylou Harris was thirty-eight, and about to release the sixteenth album of her career Wrecking Ball. Emmylou hoped that Wrecking Ball would be the album that would transform her fortunes. Having enjoyed commercial success and critical acclaim between 1975 and 1981, Emmylou’s career had stalled. The problem was, she was no …

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ROBBIE BASHO-THE VOICE OF AN EAGLE.

ROBBIE BASHO-THE VOICE OF AN EAGLE. There are some artists who follow trends, while others are trendsetters. Trendsetter describes Robbie Basho perfectly. His love and appreciation of various cultures, especially Indian culture, resulted in a series of albums of genre-defying music. Robbie’s raison d’être seemed to be broaden the minds of music lovers. He wanted …

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RODRIGO AMARANTE-CAVALO.

RODRIGO AMARANTE-CAVALO. There aren’t many solo artists who can claim to have been part of one of the most successful bands of all time. Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante can. His debut solo album Cavalo will be released on 5th May 2014, on Mais Um Discos. He was a member of Los Hermanos. Their four albums sold millions of …

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END OF NEIL-HEADSPINNIN’

END OF NEIL-HEADSPINNIN’ Over the last couple of years, I’ve been documenting the rise and rise of End Of Neil, one of Scotland’s best up and coming singer songwriters. End Of Neil’s unique brand of acoustic folk has seen Neil Stewart continue to win friends and influence people. So, much so, that End Of Neil …

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